SAN FRANCISCO — Visa USA is reporting that retailers have madeprogress on securing the card data from computer thieves.

According to the number one card brand, 96% of the retailbusinesses which process more than one million Visa transactionsper year and which account for approximately 66% of the brand'stransaction volume have confirmed that they are not storing carddata that they should not be keeping.

“We know that merchants that store full magnetic-stripe dataexpose themselves to risk exponentially,” said Michael Smith,senior vice president of Enterprise Risk and Compliance at VisaUSA. “By removing prohibited data from their payment systems, largeand small businesses alike are denying hackers the data they covetfor use in counterfeiting payment cards and are thus making theirbusinesses and the payments system more secure.” Smith also notedthat ensuring that prohibited data is not retained is an importantstep toward achieving compliance with the Payment Card IndustryData Security Standard (PCI DSS).

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